Praying for Personal Needs
FOCUS: “Give us day by day our daily bread.” (Luke 11:3)
It is comforting to know that God cares about us, our every day and our every need. Going to Him with needs was not our idea, but His. That means He does not get weary of us coming to Him daily with needs and placing demands on His Fatherhood ability.
Jesus used the word “bread” to describe our needs, since bread in the scriptures symbolized: – spiritual needs (the Word of God – Deuteronomy 8:3 and Matthew 4:4); – emotional needs (Psalms 80:5, Psalms 127:2); – physical needs (strength – Psalms 104:15; healing – Matthew 15:26-28; food – Matthew 7:9-11); – financial needs (Ecclesiastes 11:1); and – material needs (Proverbs 12:9, Psalms 37:25). Philippians 4:19 assures us that God would supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The word “Pater”, Greek for “Father”, also means nourisher. Throughout the New Testament, we see God fulfilling His role as Father in the lives of His children, as a gracious nourisher or provider. Matthew 6:25-33 presents a beautiful account of the Father’s responsibility, as provider.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Should we for any reason doubt His ability, God asks us to consider the birds of the air and the grass of the field. Then Jesus draws our attention to the fact that the Father, who provides for the animals and the plants, is aware of our basic needs (food, water and clothing) and is more than able to provide for His children, because we are precious to Him. All that God asks of us is that we:
- Be not of little faith or anxious, saying “What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”. [Do the words “saying” or “say” remind you of anything? If they don’t, please read the Introductory Chapter again. These words have everything to do with your faith, without which it is impossible to please Him.]
- Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and that’s exactly what we did in Chapters 2 and 3.
Continuing His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus compared our Heavenly Father with earthly fathers in this manner:
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:9-11)
Even the Old Testament is full of God’s providence. In the wilderness, He sent food from heaven, water from a rock and preserved the Israelites’ clothing from perishing, and then finally made them inherit the land of plenty.
All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. (Deuteronomy 8:1-10)
Notice God’s intention for blessing them is expressly stated in the last sentence and it reads “when you have eaten and are full (that is, satisfied), then you must bless the Lord” for all the good He has given to you. That’s a message for us as well, because we have a covenant of better promises.
For easy understanding and praying for your needs, the scriptures in this section are presented in a ready-to-pray format, but in no way imply that you have to adhere to the format. Please read through the list, understand it and then pray it in your own words so that it becomes a meaningful conversation with Father God.